THE federal government has warned governors of Lagos, Oyo and other states against full reopening of schools without fully meeting conditions for such.
The Presidential Taskforce (PTF) chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha called on states at the forefront of schools reopening to look critically before they leap to avoid losing successes already recorded in the fight against coronavirus spread.
Mustapha advised states that are already considering full reopening of schools to learn from the US experience where reopening of schools escalated the cases of COVID-19.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had on Saturday, August 29, announced that all the schools in the state would resume on September 21.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) expressed concerns on possible escalation of COVID-19 management situation in some countries if hasty approach is adopted.
He advised that it would be in the best interest of Nigeria to stick to the pattern proven effective since the national response was launched.
“It is in the above context that the PTF appreciates the on-going calls for re-opening of the education sector and indeed some sub-nationals are already making preparations for such.” The PTF boss tweeted.
He added, “whilst the PTF does not discourage making such preparations, we need to be guided by experiences from countries such as Germany, France, United States and UK where opening of schools in some cities led to an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities.”
He further noted that more sectors of the economy may soon be reopened, especially as the nation would be entering a new phase of the eased lockdown; while pledging that the PTF would present its recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari this week, which will determine the next phase in the national response.
He emphasised that the last three weeks had shown a slowdown in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country; noting that, in the last four months of testing, the lowest daily figure of confirmed cases (138) was reported on Sunday, August 30.
The PTF boss, however, urged caution and vigilance on the declining numbers as according to him, ”the virus is still potent and very dangerous.”
Meanwhile, the media had previously reported that vice-chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, was set to reopen tertiary institutions in Lagos State with announcement on how students in the institution would resume following state government’s new directives.
The disclosure was made through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile, saying, both primary and secondary schools would tentatively be reopened on Monday, September 21.
According to Akosile, the LASU VC has moved to reopen the school with students scheduled to resume in batches beginning from September.